Making a decision

Listen to a meeting in which colleagues make a decision to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Jani: Thanks for coming, everyone. So, we're here today to define the timeline for our new project.

Emiko: Yes, Jani, that's a great idea.

Carolina: OK. What do you need from us?

Emiko: Hold on a moment. I think we need to decide between us what to do, to make sure it works for all departments.

Jani: Yes, exactly, don't worry. We're going to discuss this and make a decision together. Let's first think about the scheduling of each project phase. What do you think, Emiko?

David: Can I interrupt? I think we should first be clear about the process we'll use to make the decision. How are we going to do it?

Jani: Ah, yes. Good point. Well, I think the best way is for each of you to give your opinion and then we can discuss and make a decision.

David: OK. That sounds good.

Emiko: Yes, that works for me too. I know we're still planning the structure of the later phases of the project, but I think we should begin phase one as soon as possible. We can work out the rest later, as we go along.

David: I'm sorry, I don't think so. How can we start phase one if we're not fully clear on where the rest of the project will take us? We might make a wrong decision and waste time.

Jani: I agree with you on that point, David. However, we'll waste too much time if we wait until everything is planned before we actually start working on the project. I think we should take an agile approach.

David: Agile approach?

Jani: Well, it means that we start quickly and then adapt as we go along.

Emiko: That's right.

Jani: Carolina, you've been very quiet.

Carolina: Um … I'm sorry. I didn't want to interrupt. I'm listening … and thinking.

David: Do you agree we should get the plan right first, and then start with phase one?

Carolina: I'm sorry, David. I don't think I agree with you. It's important to have a good plan. But plans can change, even the good ones – and business changes often. We need to be flexible, and we also need to move quickly.

Jani: OK. So should we take a vote?

Emiko: Well, you're the project leader. Let's go with your decision.

Carolina: Yes, I'll follow your lead, Jani.

David: Well, I guess that's decided then. We'll follow your agile approach, Jani. Start quickly and keep planning the later stages of the project.

Jani: Yes, that's right.

David: I still don't think this is the right decision, but I'm happy to go with the majority. We should add some space into the schedule later for additional work this 'flexibility' will need.

Jani: Don't worry, David, we will. OK, so it's decided then. We'll start phase one as soon as possible, and in the background we'll continue planning the later phases and adapt them as we go along.

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Worksheet89.21 KB

Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by mamalirezaenglish on Sat, 13/08/2022 - 20:29


Our company director doesn't interfere too much in each team's decision making. He just makes a whole strategy for the organization and each team's responsibility is to make a decision aligned with whole company strategy.

Submitted by AlexandraMT on Wed, 03/08/2022 - 01:00


decision making is based on votes.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 07/06/2022 - 08:26


In our company about some work we make a discussion but often our bosses make a decision and we do that.

Submitted by younes01 on Thu, 28/04/2022 - 03:44


Well, I am still studying now, but I'll talk about how we usually make decisions in school; especially when we are working on a school project like making a presentation about a specific subject.
we start this with how will be the structure of the presentation and we take everyone's thoughts about how he wants it to be and what are we going to start with, what will be in the end, and so on?
After that, we give each one his turn in the presentation based on each one's desire or by voting or making a lottery.
It is so fun and exciting to do a project with your classmates and it is fun to be in the middle of the atmosphere of making decisions

Submitted by Miguelitorico1996 on Fri, 14/01/2022 - 19:42


Decisions are made for people who are in the highest positions of the company, I'm not part of the decision making because I work in an operational process.

Submitted by jmajo on Mon, 10/01/2022 - 19:07


Well, usually we have scheduled weekly team meetings to make the most important decisions between the majority of us in the team, generally we make a list of the main topics of the week and then we discuss the subjects making a decision together for each of them at the end of the meeting, if we need to we suggest a timeline with different phases and define who will do what on each of them to get the things done on time. Most of the times we try not to use structured approaches because our line of work demands agile behaviors to adapt solutions to solve unexpected issues and problems that may occur along the timeline, and if we need to take additional time to solve it, we'll take it.

Thanks for the lesson.
Great site!

Submitted by misty on Sun, 09/01/2022 - 03:49


In my workplace the decision is usually team based. Everyone of us are asked about our opinions and we discuss about the advantages and disadvantages. The final output will be based on which has a better outcome.

Submitted by vuhoap on Wed, 01/12/2021 - 13:46


In our workplace, we followed agile approach because this approach can start project early and adapt as we go along. We're going to discuss about an opinion and make a decision together so decisions usually are made by the majority.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Fri, 08/10/2021 - 15:40


In there, usually all decisions are taken by Boss or director. Staff is just working there. They don't involve everyone to make decisions. I think all companies,firms, corporation and institutions decisions are taken by higher authority.

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Thu, 05/08/2021 - 14:41

In my opinion in my profession never the staff can`t take decision or to be ask for his opinion... Most of the time we`re like a slave :/ :( which is really bad
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Submitted by iEdd on Thu, 15/07/2021 - 17:10

I respect authorities, so I follow what they decide in the institutions I am. But, when I have the chance to decide or make suggestions about the group where I work, I try to gather all the opinions and seek for the best to everyone. It's hard to achieve that, but at least all the voices have room to be considered.

Submitted by fariba on Sun, 11/07/2021 - 08:03

the decisions are made by bosses.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 07:01

I'm a student currently but I discuss project work given by professor. He make five students in a group. We are discussed about our topic and do survey. it's very intersting for me.

Submitted by German on Tue, 09/03/2021 - 01:21

The decisions are made usually in vote and we like to discuss and to choose the best that we consider in consensus.

Submitted by mo-tarik on Mon, 08/03/2021 - 19:59

Generally, decisions are made by discussing and ask everyone to give his opinion and then vote to choose which one you're adopting. On the other hand, some people follow their leader's decision. They still share their opinions but the last word is their leader.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 08:35

In our job place usually we make decisions through the majority of opinions. This is why most of our decisions become more sucessfull.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Mon, 08/02/2021 - 12:05

How are decisions usually made where I work? Given that it's in a public institution, it depends of the level of the choices, that is if the choice concerns the politicians or the general management office or the middle managers.

Submitted by Aroooma on Wed, 27/01/2021 - 17:13

I don't have a work currently,but in the past when I was in the university , I and my discuion group spok together about some projucts at our free time , actually that was freindly discussion with laugh and eat something
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Submitted by El Cuy Mágico on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 21:07

I am a student now but I could work one year ago in events organization. My boss used to make all decisions. However, he also used to ask to us for suggestions.

Submitted by marlio96 on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 03:03

I work at a Laboratory of Soils and I'm an employee so I don't participate in the taking of decisions but my opinions are very important and often they are taken into account. Actually, the decisions are taken by the main engineer and the technician, they get together in a meeting and make the decisions.

Submitted by omardad on Tue, 19/01/2021 - 04:22

Here in my workplace, usually the decision is made by relevent project staffs who involve reporting and evaluating the project consequences and outcomes.

Submitted by Dariusz on Mon, 18/01/2021 - 22:01

I am a boss for myself, so the decisions are made by me.

Submitted by Elham Barakat on Sat, 09/01/2021 - 21:19

The decision is made by the Head manager without discussion or taking opinions from others. It's Centralized decisions.
Yes, that's right. It would be better to discuss the project or topic and take the opinions of all members who took part in the meeting to assure consensus.

Submitted by M19 on Thu, 31/12/2020 - 14:15

Where I work, the majority of them are protocol guided. Those that need critical or urgent evaluation like the ethical dilemmas, the involvement of the ethical team and sometimes law enforcement is necessary. In most cases on a routine basis, it's usually the case manager and all interdisciplinary team leaders who meet to work on individual issues of each client.

Submitted by Saad786 on Tue, 29/12/2020 - 15:47

When I work, I always like to take decisions by expressing my views with family members and friends. Then i take their opinions to make final decision.
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Submitted by javibuendi on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 10:49

In the company where I´m currently working we discuss decisions through dialogue. My coordinator and I are in sync about everything that happens at work, and we share opinions with each other in order to solve problems. Cheers from Madrid.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 16:02

We make also some project decisions at the work, even at study. To develop our project work every one of the team members is very active while making a decision. All decisions will be accepted by the team leaders, and if it needs to adapt for them then the team leader can be concluded to the best ones.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 10:23

in our school the decisions is made by voting
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Submitted by cassiamattos2013 on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 19:13

Where I'm working at the moment, the decision made after to read the majority team. My boss is very competent and he knows to give his opinion and to listen to other opinions about anything. In my company, peoples are more important and everybody know to make the better decision I think because they feel happy and security to telling about what they think.
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Submitted by danisep on Sun, 20/09/2020 - 00:54

When I was working my boss just give the order and I change everything with the aim to get a better performance and hand in the best results.

Submitted by IBRAHIM HAMID on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 15:21

Where I work the decisions made according to the type of decision, sometimes the manager follow structured approach and agile approach in other times.

Submitted by Rinaa on Tue, 25/08/2020 - 22:39

Our team leader discusses the best choice with all of us and after considering the suggestion from us, the team leader makes the best decision. So the main decision is made from Team leader, but we are free to add any ideas and to ask detail information about; how long the project will last, which is our role in the project and how much they are going to pay us for our job that has to be done.

Submitted by Asni on Sat, 15/08/2020 - 23:45

Sorry, I thought the discussion was about management project approaches. About decisions , we used to discuss them first, share opinions about every suggestion, and if we failed to all agree on something, we ended up taking a vote.

Submitted by Asni on Sat, 15/08/2020 - 22:35

When I was at university, we followed agile methodology when developing projects, because it was more effective and flexible. In software engineering, the customer doesn't often have clear ideas about what he needs, he might know the main features and objectives of the system he'd like, but his requirements may change throughout the project execution, that's why adopting an agile approach is the best decision in such a case.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 18:11

It obviously depends on the situation. Of course, every company wants to have a plan before the project starts. You have to know what human and material resources you need to get the job done. And, clearly, you should know how long the project will last. But, as usual, unpredictable situations happens. So, you need the plan, the good one, but no matter how good it is if you can't adapt it to the appeared conditions

Submitted by senes19 on Tue, 28/07/2020 - 14:21

Hello Kirk, Now i don't work with another people. When I worked in a English Learning Course, we would make a meeting to take a decision. Our vital aims is to be induce new students to enroll to our course. In our meeting, generally the boss would explain our mission to reach to the goals. And then we could say something about the project and our tasks. Sometimes we could interrupt and add our thoughts. But mostly decision are made by boss and her close friends.

Submitted by Miho Watanabe on Mon, 20/07/2020 - 08:22

I work part-time at a drug store, so our owner usually decide a lot of things. But in my college, we can decide almost things by ourselves, so we exchange our opinions, and make a majority decision. I think to decide by majority is very easy, but to be influenced by majority is a little bad, so having own opinion is very important.

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 20:05

In our university it completely depends on the objective of decision which we should make. For example, if we want to make schedule for next semester, the dean of faculty and his/her assistant console with professors and assistant professors and then make schedule. Making schedule of mid term tests and so on are the same as scheduling for semesters. But it differs for each professor. Everyone has three kinds of programs which are named daily, monthly, and semestrial. Professors make these schedules based on the subject of his/her course and the statutes of university. If I compare them to process which is discussed above, they are probably very different. For example, course policy should be made at the beginning of each semester. Therefore, I think we usually make structured decisions which is stated by David, and we slightly use agile planing. Regards, Tayyebi

Submitted by Mario91DandreaC on Thu, 18/06/2020 - 18:47

In the office where I work, we usually share our perspective or opinion about a specific topic, listening to all the perspectives and in the end, our boss makes a final decision with the best opinions or perspectives that we already gave in the discussion.

Submitted by Austin on Wed, 27/05/2020 - 09:32

In my workplace, all decisions made by our department supervisors however they will ask and collect our opinions first, and then they will get approval from our manager, eventually, we will have a briefing of the action or decisions that they made to let us know.

Submitted by mouna99 on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 15:12

I prefer to stay neutral

Submitted by conejo on Mon, 04/05/2020 - 02:33

In my Job, decissions are very centered on few people, because in the public sector, there are a lot of reviews for each project and budgets.
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Submitted by rerre on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 00:27

My coordinator asks our opinion and decides alone what to do.
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Submitted by rerre on Sun, 26/04/2020 - 20:44

Hi! Emiko says: "we need to decide between us", but the correct way would be "among us". Am I wrong? Thank you
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Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 27/04/2020 - 06:49

In reply to by rerre


Hi rerre,

In this context youl could use between us, among us or amongst us. All are correct and there is no difference in meaning.



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 12:04

Where I work decisions are made by the top management and then communicated to employees.
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Submitted by JuanManuelLopezGil on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 01:04

There are three forms: 1. After of analysed a research. 2. Based us in previous experiences. 3. Taking in count development of process.
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Submitted by Nikolaos Stavr… on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 12:06

Hi!! Usually, everybody is giving their opinion and then we can discuss and make a decision PS. Hello Kirk, I would like to ask you if the sentence below is correct? '' The coronavirus interrupted my business." Thank you